At-risk Southern states dodge credit downgrade

Cross-posted from The Institute for Southern Studies

The last-minute debt ceiling deal reached last week by Congress and signed into law by President Obama wasn't enough to prevent Standard & Poor's credit rating agency from downgrading the U.S. [pdf] for the first time in history from Aaa to Aa+, a move that sent the stock market plummeting today.

That's not a professor, it's a puppet

WRAL drinks at a tainted watering hole:

Any long-term improvement in the U.S. economy will require painful choices, the kinds of choices that politicians have been thus far unwilling to make, according to Mike Walden, an economist and professor at North Carolina State University.

It looks like we're headed back to the bad old days, where media failed to inform readers that the "expert" they interviewed was in the employ of Art Pope. Not only is Doctor Mike and adjunct scholar for the John Locke Foundation, he's been producing tainted research for them for at least fifteen years:

Hagan holding the football

As the tumult over the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt continues, so does the fleecing of America. We are discussing slashing safety net programs that protect average citizens without jobs in this economy. Meanwhile, Washington considers the Freedom to Invest Act of 2011 (H.R.1834), corporate welfare for "super citizen" companies that moved those jobs offshore and hid profits there, too. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) received moral support last week from NC Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan:

After dark

This woman's voice gives meaning to the word "divine." A recently found, unrehearsed version of Roy Orbison's classic from my favorite singer ever.

Media Whistling Past The Graveyard

Just because the media is tiptoeing around mentioning this doesn't mean I have to. From S&P's explanation of the U.S. debt downgrade:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

And this:

"...Shall Not Perish From This Earth."


It has been a tough news weekend for the United States.

I've been blocking out news coverage today and cringing every time I hear a partisan or pundit prognosticate about the decline of America, or our supposed shuffle closer to doomsday.

My heart breaks hard every time I think about the selfless men and women we lost in Afghanistan this weekend. Brothers and sisters alike, it seems almost trivial to sit here tonight and type--a freedom they have won for me--while so many are facing grim realities and long, tense moments of combat half a world away.

The psychology of Climate Change denialism

On a recent Diane Rehm Show focused on the impacts of approaching Climate Change, the host was driven to ask "Why?" Why does a certain subset of individuals (and scientists) refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence that atmospheric carbon levels have surpassed the danger point and are affecting climate on a global scale?

The answer to that question doesn't lie in the scientific data, it's in our heads. Both psychological and sociological triggers come into play, and we'll take a look at each.

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